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Last updated : Nov 2009
Marrakech Shopping
Marrakech Shopping Guide - TravelPuppy.com
Leading off from the northern edge of Jemaa-el-Fna are the winding alleyways of the souks, the huge crowded, chaotic central market of Marrakech. Browsers can select anything from jewellery, textiles or carpets to herbs, love potions and camels. Travellers will find these souks well worth exploring, regardless of whether they aim to buy anything or not. The area that the souks cover may at first seem like a labyrinth but it is, in fact, deceptively compact and each area specialises in definite products.

There are still workshops, with ironworkers, dyers, carpenters and tailors plying their trade in the small shop fronts. Divided into sections according to the trade they conduct, they are best approached from the rue Souk Smarine. This is a busy and crowded thoroughfare, covered to afford protection from the sun, runs for half the length of the souks before forking into Souk el Attarin and Souk el Kebir. Along the Souk el Attarin are the metalwork, dyed goods, spice and metalwork souks. Souk el Kebir area has cassettes, leatherwear, carpets, traditional Moroccan clothing and cheap Western goods.

Bargaining is necessary, travellers should start at around 1 - 3rd of what they require to pay. A good idea of quality and prices can be found at the government-run Ensemble Artisanal, on avenue Mohammed V, just before the Koutoubia Mosque. This small shopping mall and craft training centre provides high-quality products at reasonable, fixed prices.

Tourists do not have to walk far before the first offers on carpets are made. And those with time and patience can easily spend hours drinking mint tea, sighing, head shaking and smiling while rugs and carpets are unrolled. For those who are serious about buying a carpet, a good place for it is Bazaar Chichoua, 5 Souk des Ksous. Other interesting things to look out for are wooden articles, copper and silverware, silk or cotton garments and jewellery, which can all be found in Galleria Ministero del Gusto, 22 Derb Azouz el Moussine, in the souks, or L’Orientaliste, 15 rue de la Libertie, Guéliz. Trésorie du Sud, rue el Mouassine, is 1 of many small jewellers close to the Mouassine Mosque.

For leather goods, Place Vendome, 141 avenue Mohammed V, is a good place to go. In the streets around place Abdel Moumen ben Ali, there are patisseries, fashion outlets, English-language bookshops and computer stores.

Shopping hours

0900 hrs - 2000/2100 hrs Monday to Saturday

Some close for lunch and some may close on Fridays, some, including those in the souks, remain open on Sunday and on public holidays.

No provision is made for visitors to reclaim any sales tax or VAT on accommodation or products that they purchase and many shop-owners actively resist giving an official receipt, as this forces them to declare (and pay) the VAT.
Useful travel links
Global Refund discover the pleasures of tax free shopping